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Real Spanish Phrase Book

By Marina Diez and Ben Curtis


www.notesinspanish.com

Marina Diez and Ben Curtis 2008 The contents of this book may not be copied or redistributed in any way without the express permission of the authors.

Table of Contents
An Introduction from Ben Notes on Using this Book
Literal Translations Can Anyone Use Any of these Phrases? Pronunciation - The Accompanying Audio Key

8 9
9 10 10 11

Addictions
Estar enganchado Tener mono de algo

12
12 12

Bad People
Eres un rata! Eres un chorizo Eres un buitre Es un cantamaanas Ese nio da mucha guerra

13
13 13 13 14 14

Blame
Echar balones fuera Le pillamos con las manos en la masa

15
15 15

Clever
Qu listo eres! Qu espabilado eres!

16
16 16

Dar en la diana Has dado en el clavo

16 17

Confusion!
No me entero de la misa la mitad No tiene ni pies ni cabeza

18
18 18

Crazy People!
Esa chica est zumbada Est como una regadera

19
19 19

Crying
Llorar a moco tendido Llorar como una magdalena

20
20 20

Damn it!
Mecachis en la mar! La madre que te pari

21
21 21

Dichos - Typical Sayings


En boca cerrada no entran moscas Quien no llora no mama En el pas de los ciegos, el tuerto es el rey El mundo es un pauelo Ms vale una vez rojo que 20 amarillo Donde hay conanza, da asco Ha nacido con un pan debajo del brazo Estar a las duras y a las maduras A buenas horas mangas verdes

22
22 22 22 23 23 23 24 24 24

Escapology
3

25

Dar esquinazo Escaquearse de algo

25 25

Fed Up!
Ya no puedo ms! No me des la lata! Eres un petardo Me tienes frito Qu plasta eres! Eres un pesado! Me ralla mucho No puedo ms con ella! Qu rollo! Es un tostn / Qu tostn! Djame en paz!

26
26 26 26 27 27 27 27 28 28 28 29

Food and Drink


Eres un catacaldos Nos hemos ventilado el jamn Esta tarta est de muerte Estoy que peto! Me he puesto morado Nos hemos zampado todo Me muero de hambre Eres un tiquismiquis Huele que alimenta

30
30 30 30 31 31 31 31 32 32

Good People
4

33

Soy la leche! Es un buen partido Ms majo que la mar salada Tengo para dar y regalar Qu piropo me has echado!

33 33 33 34 34

I Cant Believe It!


Qu barbaridad! Qu fuerte! Yo alucino! Si no lo veo no lo creo

35
35 35 35 36

In the Clouds
Este chico va a su bola / Este chico va a su aire Est en las nubes Est en Babia

37
37 37 37

In your element
Ests en tu salsa Est como un pez en el agua Estoy ms ancho que largo

38
38 38 38

Just What I Need...


Me viene al pelo

39
39

Looks Good!
Tiene buena pinta Dar buen rollo

40
40 40

Lying!
Es una mentira como una catedral
5

41
41

Me parece una trola como un castillo Me suena a cuento chino

41 41

Pissed Off
Qu mandn eres! Te voy a dar! Mueve el culo un poco, guapo! No tengas jeta! / Qu jeta tienes! Eres un rollero Tienes ms cara que espalda! Eres un bocazas No me tomes el pelo

42
42 42 42 42 43 43 43 43

Thats Great!
Esta moto va de escndalo! Me mola mogolln Es una pasada! / Qu pasada!

44
44 44 44

Timing and Meeting


Te veo a las tres y pico Lo hago en un pisps Voy a tardar media hora larga Mas vale tarde que nunca Me ha dado plantn Ya era hora!

45
45 45 45 45 46 46

Weather
Llueve a cntaros Hace un da de perros
6

47
47 47

Hace un da de miedo

47

When things go wrong...


Me ha salido el tiro por la culata Me ha pagado con la misma moneda Estoy entre la espada y la pared Tiene un as en la manga Cubrirse de gloria

48
48 48 48 49 49

Work
Tener enchufe

50
50

Worry
Hacer de tripas corazn Tener el corazn en un puo

51
51 51

YUK!!
Huele que apesta! Qu asco!

52
52 52

Final Notes
More Real Phrases in our Newsletter Our Podcasts and Worksheets Getting Involved! Ackowledgements

53
53 53 53 54

An Introduction from Ben


When I started learning Spanish here in Spain, one of the things I most enjoyed was picking up cool phrases from the locals, and using them in my own Spanish conversations whenever I got the chance. The effect this had on the Spanish people I talked to was wonderful. Wow, they would say, you sound like a Spanish person! When you are trying to learn a new language, you dont get much better feedback than that! So began a long-term interest, a mild obsession even, with collecting real, authentic Spanish phrases, those used on a day to day basis by real Spanish people in their everyday conversations, the typical Spanish phrases you'll never learn in a textbook. A couple of years ago Marina and I decided to start documenting and classifying these phrases, with the aim of sharing them with the Notes in Spanish listeners and viewers. At last, after a very careful selection process, our Real Spanish Phrase Book is ready. We really hope you enjoy using the phrases. Slip a few into your Spanish conversations and you'll be amazed how Spanish you not only sound, but feel as well!

Ben, NotesinSpanish.com

Notes on Using this Book


This book contains colloquial Spanish phrases that really are used on a day to day basis. It is by no means a complete encyclopedia of Spanish slang, rather a careful selection of those favourite expressions that we love, use, and hear every day. Unless otherwise specied, these phrases have come from the Spanish spoken in Spain. This means that if you rock up in Argentina, Mexico, or Peru, theres a small chance that one or two of them might cause looks of mild confusion when tried out on the locals. Dont worry though, you wont get into any trouble, in fact the person you are talking to is likely to be so interested in hearing how a certain thing is said slightly differently in Spain, that theyll take the time to tell you their version in Columbian, Honduran or Chilean Spanish. When this happens, you end up learning even more! And when you do get to use these phrases with Spanish people from here in Spain, we guarantee there will never be any confusion: youll be greeted as a hero of real Spanish uency!

Literal Translations
Like many phrases in our own language, the literal translations of these phrases often make no sense, or seem to have nothing to do with the meaning of the phrase itself. Soy la leche, for example, is literally translated as I am the milk, though what it really means out on the street is, I am really cool. We have included a few literal translations in the book just for fun, when we nd the literal meaning of each word to be interesting or just plain bizarre. Just remember though, the literal translation usually has nothing to do with the actual meaning and usage of the phrases.

Can Anyone Use Any of these Phrases?


Most of the phrases in this book can be used by anyone of any age, and in any company. However, one or two of the included phrases are only likely to be used by teenagers, whilst others would never be used by anyone under 30! Some are particularly rude, and you would not want to use those in front of people you didnt know too well! Wherever any of these rules apply, we have made a note to make sure you dont go wrong. Otherwise, you can use all of these phrases whenever, and with whoever, you like.

Pronunciation - The Accompanying Audio


This book is accompanied by an exclusive set of special audio les in which Marina and Ben provide you with pronunciation tips and further information about each phrase. See the read me le that accompanies this book for details on how to download these audio les.

10

Key
Each phrase is presented in the following format:

No me des la lata!

- Phrase

Leave me in peace! - Meaning Literally, dont give me the tin, this phrase is ideal when someone is going on and on at you about something, and you cant take it any more! - Notes on the phrase

Furthermore, the phrases are subdivided under separate headings or themes, ordered alphabetically, and starting on the next page with Addictions. We really hope you enjoy the book!

11

Addictions
Estar enganchado
To be hooked on something Food, tele, drugs, this phrase is used for anything you can get addicted to. E.g. Estoy enganchada con este libro, no puedo parar de leerlo, meaning, Im addicted to this book, I cant put it down!

Tener mono de algo


To be really in need of, or desperate for, something E.g. Tengo mono de helado, meaning, Im desperate for ice-cream. This phrase originally came from drug addicts, and was used when they were desperate for another x.

12

Bad People
Eres un rata!
You are really tight, stingy, mean Literally, you are a rat! This expression is used for people that are really tight, stingy, or mean with their money. E.g. Juan es un rata, siempre se asegura de no dejar ni un cntimo de ms, meaning, Juan is really stingy, he always makes sure he never leaves a cent too much.

Eres un chorizo
Youre a thief! Chrorizo is of course a kind of spicy sausage, but it is also used in slang for either a fullblown thief, or someone who just steals little things all the time.

Eres un buitre
You are a vulture! For people who always grab most of the free stuff rst (like free food and drink at a party), or try to live off hand-outs from others.

13

Es un cantamaanas
Hes irresponsible/deceitful Cantamaanas, literally sing-mornings, is used for people who dont keep their word, or brag a lot without substance.

Ese nio da mucha guerra


That kid is a pain in the neck Literally, that kid gives a lot of war, this phrase is used for someone that requires lots of attention, and gives you a real headache.

14

Blame
Echar balones fuera
To place the blame elsewhere E.g. Fue mi compaero el que cometi el error, pero como siempre, echa balones fuera, y mi jefe culpa a todo el equipo, meaning, my work mate made the mistake, but as usual hes placing the blame elsewhere, and my boss is holding the whole team responsible.

Le pillamos con las manos en la masa


We caught him in the act Literally, we caught him with his hands in the dough. E.g. Mi hijo siempre nos deca que no fumaba, pero el otro da le pillamos con las manos en la masa en un parque cerca de casa, meaning, my son said he doesnt smoke, but the other day we caught him in the act in a park near the house.

15

Clever
Qu listo eres!
Youre a clever one! As well as being used as a compliment, this is also often used ironically, in a sarcastic tone of voice, to mean you are too clever for your own good.

Qu espabilado eres!
To kids: Youre so clever! To adults: You sneaky git! Adults say this lovingly to children when they seem clever for their age. But adults also use it negatively with each other, when a friend exploits a situation for his or her own benet. For example, when your friend is quickest to take the most comfy seat for watching TV!

Dar en la diana
To get something right E.g. He dado en la diana. He acertado quien era el asesino, meaning I guessed right. I knew who the killer was!

16

Has dado en el clavo


You hit the nail on the head When someone makes a very astute statement about a situation, getting to the heart of the matter straight away.

17

Confusion!
No me entero de la misa la mitad
I dont understand a thing! Literally, I dont understand half the mass, this might be used in a classroom or meeting when you feel completely lost, or cant follow someones explanation.

No tiene ni pies ni cabeza


It doesnt make sense E.g. Tu redaccin no tiene ni pies ni cabeza, es mejor que la repitas, meaning, Your essay makes no sense, youd better repeat it.

18

Crazy People!
Esa chica est zumbada
That girl is crazy Cool kids pronounce this without the last d: zumbao.

Est como una regadera


Hes totally crazy Regadera means watering can! Were not sure what the connection is!

19

Crying
Llorar a moco tendido
To cry non-stop Literally to cry until snot, moco, ows out of your nose! E.g. Roco esta llorando a moco tendido porque ha suspendido un examen, meaning, Rocio cant stop crying, because she failed an exam.

Llorar como una magdalena


As above, to cry non-stop This expression refers to Santa Mara Magdalena, the prostitute who converted to Christianity and washed Jesus feet with her tears.

20

Damn it!
Mecachis en la mar!
Damn it! Mild swearword mostly used by people over the age of 50. Ideal for when you need to swear in front of the in-laws!

La madre que te pari


#@+*!!! Literally, the mother that bore you, this phrase is extremely erce, and should only be said in front of people you know very well. Likely to be used when, for example, your brother drops your camera in the swimming pool, or the dog eats your homework. Often followed by the second part of the phrase ... que a gusto se qued, to give the full phrase which literally means, the mother that bore you, how happy she felt afterwards!

21

Dichos - Typical Sayings


En boca cerrada no entran moscas
Sometimes its better to keep your mouth shut Literally, ies cant enter a closed mouth. Either said to, or by, someone who has just put their foot in it, and said something they shouldnt have.

Quien no llora no mama


If you dont ask you dont get This phrase comes from breast feeding! Literally, if the baby doesnt cry, llorar, it doesnt get to breast feed, mamar. Now it is used widely to suggest that if you want something in life, you really need to go ahead and ask for it!

En el pas de los ciegos, el tuerto es el rey


If you know a bit more about something than everyone else around you, you are an expert The literal meaning of this phrase is, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

22

El mundo es un pauelo
Its a small world Literally, the world is a hankerchief. Useful when you cant believe you just bumped into your ex in China!

Ms vale una vez rojo que 20 amarillo


Its better to clear things up as soon as possible, than to let them keep annoying you over and over again For example, this is the advice you give to a friend when they tell you that someone at work is continually making their life impossible, and you think they should put a stop to the situation fast, before it keeps getting worse.

Donde hay conanza, da asco


Familiarity breeds contempt When your best friend gets away with treating you badly because they know you too damn well.

23

Ha nacido con un pan debajo del brazo


The baby has brought good fortune to the family Literally, he was born with bread under his arm, this is a typical phrase you might hear when a family has a lucky break (usually nancial or work related) soon after a child is born.

Estar a las duras y a las maduras


To be there whenever needed, in good times and bad E.g. Los buenos amigos estan contigo en las duras y las maduras, meaning Good friends always stand by your side, even when times are tough.

A buenas horas mangas verdes


Youre too late! Literally, at good hours green sleeves, this phrase is used when someone arrives too late, or offers help too late, to be of any use. The phrase originates from Spains Guardia Civil police force, who wear a green uniform, and were famous for being slow to arrive at the scene of a crime.

24

Escapology
Dar esquinazo
To avoid someone on purpose E.g. Mi jefe me ha dado esquinazo, tenamos una reunin a las 9h y no ha aparecido, meaning, My boss is avoiding me, we had a meeting at 9 a.m. and he hasnt turned up.

Escaquearse de algo
To get out of doing something E.g. Mi hermana se ha escaqueado otra vez de poner la mesa, meaning, My sister has got out of laying the table again.

25

Fed Up!
Ya no puedo ms!
Ive had enough! When you just cant take something any more! This is usually shouted when storming out of the room!

No me des la lata!
Leave me in peace! Literally, dont give me the tin, this phrase is ideal when someone is going on and on at you about something, and you cant take it any more!

Eres un petardo
Youre a pain/a real bore E.g. Eres un petardo! Te pasas el da hablando de ftbol!, meaning, You are a pain, you spend all day talking about football!

26

Me tienes frito
Youve totally worn me out Frito means fried. Youd use this for an exhausting boyfriend or a pestering child, when youve had enough!

Qu plasta eres!
You are a nightmare! Best reserved for family or close friends.

Eres un pesado!
You are a total pain! Once again the essential point here is that someone has been going on and on and on at you about something for some time, before you nally tell them what a pain in the backside they are!

Me ralla mucho
That really annoys me Pretty slang this one, mostly used by those under 30! E.g. Me ralla mucho este profesor, meaning, this teacher really annoys me.

27

No puedo ms con ella!


I cant cope with her anymore! ...or with a situation, e.g. No puedo ms con mi trabajo, meaning, I cant cope with this job any more.

Qu rollo!
How boring! Used when something is boring or repetitive, e.g. a movie, homework, chores...

Es un tostn / Qu tostn!
Its really really (really) boring! Tostn literally means big toast, but in reality its used for the most insufferably dull things you can imagine. E.g. Esta pelcula es un tostn, this lm is really dull. It is also commonly used at events and gatherings, for example when you are bored in a class, Qu tostn de clase!, or at a conference, esta conferencia ha sido un tostn, meaning, this conference has been really dull.

28

Djame en paz!
Leave me in peace! Always delivered like the crack of a whip, this phrase means get lost, now! Ive had as much as I can take! Ideal for when someone is going on and on at you, and you feel like you are about to explode!

29

Food and Drink


Eres un catacaldos
You like to try a bit of everything From catar, to try, and caldo, broth. This phrase is used to describe a person that likes to try a bit of what is on everyone elses plate, but can also be used in other situations, such as for someone that is constantly changing boy/girlfriends!

Nos hemos ventilado el jamn


Weve nished off all the ham In fact you can ventilate (polish off!) any kind of food, e.g. el queso... el pan... el helado...

Esta tarta est de muerte


This cake is incredible Not dead, as the phrase literally seems to imply, just dead good! This construction can be used with all foods.

30

Estoy que peto!


Im totally full up! A very informal phrase for when you cant eat another thing.

Me he puesto morado
Ive eaten a lot This literally means, Ive put myself purple, and is used when you have eaten a lot, and enjoyed the food.

Nos hemos zampado todo


Weve eaten everything! Used at the end of a particularly good, informal meal, when there is absolutely nothing left on any of the plates!

Me muero de hambre
Im starving! Literally, Im dying of hunger. Its also common to hear, me muero de sed, meaning, Im dying of thirst.

31

Eres un tiquismiquis
You are really fussy Not only for people who are fussy about food and hardly eat anything, but also for people who are obsessive, for example about how their clothes are folded, keeping the house tidy, etc.

Huele que alimenta


It smells incredible Literally, it smells that it feeds, this is THE essential points-winning phrase to use if you ever end up with a Spanish mother-in-law, boss, boy/girlfriend, etc, and they invite you around to dinner!

32

Good People
Soy la leche!
I rock! I am the coolest thing on the block Literally, I am the milk, this pretty informal phrase is the kind of thing you would tell your friends (if they dont know it already!) Mostly used by those under 30.

Es un buen partido
Hes a good catch What you tell your best mate about their new boyfriend or girlfriend!

Ms majo que la mar salada


Incredibly nice You could replace majo here with other positive personality adjectives such as bueno (good), generoso (generous) and guapo (attractive). The literal translation in the above case is funny: nicer than the salty sea! This is a phrase for the over-50s.

33

Tengo para dar y regalar


Ive got plenty to spare For example, if someone asks you for a pencil and you have a whole boxful, you might say this as you happily give one away.

Qu piropo me has echado!


Thats a hell of a compliment youve just paid me! Sometimes you might hear piropo replaced with piropazo, for an even bigger compliment!

34

I Cant Believe It!


Qu barbaridad!
Goodness me/I cant believe it! This is used when you see something totally excessive, e.g. Qu barbaridad!, que de gente hay en el Metro, meaning, Goodness me, the Metro is packed!

Qu fuerte!
No way! When you hear someone has been unfaithful, or has passed an exam without doing a stroke of work all year, or has received an amazing 50% salary rise. These amazing (in a good or bad sense) and somewhat unbelievable situations are always worth a quick Qu fuerte!

Yo alucino!
I can't believe it! Literally, I am hallucinating!, the Spanish use this informal phrase whenever they are presented with an outrageous situation. Price of bread gone up 200%? Yo Alucino... Your friend tells you they are going on holiday for the 10th time this year? Yo Alucino... You will often also hear Alucino used alone, or in conjunction with con, e.g. Alucino contigo, meaning I cant believe you, or Alucino con el precio de la fruta..., meaning I cant believe the price of fruit.
35

Si no lo veo no lo creo
Ill believe it when I see it When your expectations of something actually happening arent all that high!

36

In the Clouds
Este chico va a su bola / Este chico va a su aire
This kid does his own thing This is used for people who are very independent and generally do what they want, when they want, and usually on their own.

Est en las nubes


Shes on another planet Literally, shes in the clouds, this means that she is lost in her own thoughts, or her mind is somewhere else.

Est en Babia
Hes lost in his own world This phrase comes from a tale about one of Spains ancient kings, who used to go hunting in an area in the north-west of Spain, called Babia. When people asked to see the king for advice or help, his servants would say, Hes off in Babia, and thats the origin of the phrase we use today.

37

In your element
Ests en tu salsa
Youre in your element Literally, you are in your own sauce, this phrase is said to someone who is obviously in their ideal situation, in their ideal place, and at the perfect time, and is very happy as a result!

Est como un pez en el agua


Shes really having a great time Shes in her element, literally like a sh in water. Note: in English we say like a sh out of water to mean the exact opposite!

Estoy ms ancho que largo


Im happy and content Literally, Im feeling wider than long, this might be used in two types of situation: when youre happily lying on the sofa, relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, or when you nally get something off your chest, e.g. por n me he atrevido a hablar con mi hermano del dinero que me debe, y me he quedado mas ancha que larga, meaning, Ive nally dared to speak to my brother about the money he owes me, and I feel much better.

38

Just What I Need...


Me viene al pelo
Thats just what I needed! Literally, it comes to my hair! E.g. Gracias por dejarme los 10 Euros, me vienen al pelo, meaning, thanks for lending me the 10 Euros, theyre just what I need right now. You will sometimes also hear, Me viene como anillo al dedo, literally, it comes like a ring to my nger, which again means thats just what I needed right now.

39

Looks Good!
Tiene buena pinta
It looks good Literally, it has a good pint, you could equally answer tiene buena pinta to a friends suggestion about a restaurant, a movie, a book, or a certain dish on a menu, e.g. Quieres cenar en el restaurante nuevo? - S, tiene buena pinta, meaning, Do you want to eat in the new restaurant? - Sure, it looks good.

Dar buen rollo


To give a good impression Quite informal. E.g. Esta chica me ha dado buen rollo, creo que le voy a contratar, meaning, That girl made a good impression on me, I think Ill hire her.

40

Lying!
Es una mentira como una catedral
Thats a massive lie Literally, a lie as big as a cathedral!

Me parece una trola como un castillo


Thats the biggest lie Ive ever heard Literally, that seems like a lie as big as a castle. In British English wed call it a real whopper! Note that trola is a slang word for a lie.

Me suena a cuento chino


Sounds like a tall story to me I dont know what the Chinese have to do with this, but the literal translation is, it sounds like a chinese story to me. Useful when someone tells you a tale that you just cant believe really happened.

41

Pissed Off
Qu mandn eres!
You are really bossy! Wife to husband... sister to brother... you get the picture!

Te voy a dar!
Youre going to get it! Homer to Bart Simpson... father to moody kid... girl to impossible boyfriend... Run if you hear this one!

Mueve el culo un poco, guapo!


Move your butt! Get on with it! Culo means bum/butt. The guapo is optional, and means more mate/dude in this context than sexy.

No tengas jeta! / Qu jeta tienes!


Dont be so cheeky / You are so cheeky (Youve got a real nerve!) Jeta is another word for face, in slang, but is mostly used in this expression.
42

Eres un rollero
Youre a bulls**t artist Excuse our language, but thats just the best translation there is!

Tienes ms cara que espalda!


Youre so cheeky! / Youve got such a nerve! Cara (face) is often used to denote cheekiness, so if your cara is bigger than your espalda (back), things must be bad!

Eres un bocazas
Youve got a big mouth For those special friends that cant keep secrets...

No me tomes el pelo
Stop winding me up/pulling my leg In Spain they pull the hair, pelo, rather than the leg!

43

Thats Great!
Esta moto va de escndalo!
This bike goes like a dream! Not scandalous at all in fact, just fantastic! Can be used for cars or food too, e.g. Este pescado est de escndalo, meaning, this sh is totally delicious.

Me mola mogolln
That is so cool / Im really into that Me mola means I dig, and mogolln means loads. E.g. Esta chica me mola mogolln, I really like that girl, or Esta coche me mola mogolln, meaning, I really dig that car. Mostly used only by those under 40.

Es una pasada! / Qu pasada!


Its incredible / amazing This is used to say how great something is, like a new mobile phone, a Radiohead concert, or the size of someones new house. If you think something is really impressive, say this! Can also be used with de, E.g. Qu pasada de hotel! Me encanta la piscina que hay en el tejado, meaning, What an amazing hotel! I love the rooftop pool.

44

Timing and Meeting


Te veo a las tres y pico
Ill see you between three and four Time keeping, in Spain at least, is not an exact science, and y pico is commonly used to mean sometime after.

Lo hago en un pisps
Ill do that in a ash En un pisps means in no time, so another example might be, Voy para all en un pisps, meaning, Ill be there in no time.

Voy a tardar media hora larga


Ill take 30 to 45 minutes ... or considerably longer - depending on who says it!

Mas vale tarde que nunca


Better late than never Often used in Spain!
45

Me ha dado plantn
She hasnt turned up Plantn literally means a big plant! You may also hear Me ha dejado plantado, once again to mean that someone has failed to show up at a prearranged meeting time.

Ya era hora!
It was about time! ... you showed up... you did this... you called her... etc...

46

Weather
Llueve a cntaros
Its pouring! Cntaro, means jug, or pitcher, and when it rains this hard it feels like people are pouring them all over you!

Hace un da de perros
Its horrible weather today Literally, its a day of dogs, this probably means rain, wind, grey skies... you get the picture!

Hace un da de miedo
What fantastic weather! Literally, it makes a day of fear, in reality this is used when the sun is out, the weather is warm, and the skies are blue!

47

When things go wrong...


Me ha salido el tiro por la culata
My plan backred When things just dont go the way you intended them to. Tiro literally means shot, and Culata means butt of a gun.

Me ha pagado con la misma moneda


He got his own back on me Here is another example: Me vendi un coche en mal estado, pero en cuanto pueda, le pagar con la misma moneda, meaning He sold me a crappy car, but as soon as I can, Ill get my own back on him.

Estoy entre la espada y la pared


Ive come to a dead end, theres nothing else I can do to solve this problem Literally, Im between the sword and the wall, this phrase is used when you seem to have run out of options.

48

Tiene un as en la manga
Hes got an ace up his sleeve To have a plan B when its obvious that your rst course of action just isnt going to work out.

Cubrirse de gloria
To really screw up E.g. Est lloviendo. El hombre del tiempo se ha cubierto de gloria , meaning Its raining. The weatherman really got it wrong.

49

Work
Tener enchufe
To have a useful contact that helps you get ahead of the rest Literally, a plug, an enchufe helps you get a job, a place on a course etc. Also, Estar enchufado means to have good contacts.

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Worry
Hacer de tripas corazn
To make an effort to do something you dont like/to be brave Literally, to make your guts into heart. E.g. No me gusta volar, pero hice de tripas corazn para ir a Tailandia en avin a pasar la luna de miel, meaning, I dont like ying, but I made an effort to go to Thailand by plane for our honeymoon.

Tener el corazn en un puo


To be super worried about something Literally, to have your heart in a st... in English its usually in our mouth! E.g. Hace dos das que no s nada de tu hermano, tengo el corazn en un puo, meaning I havent heard from your brother for two days, Im really worried.

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YUK!!
Huele que apesta!
It stinks! Apestar means to stink, so this phrase has real power to describe something extremely unpleasantly smelly!

Qu asco!
Urrrgh, how disgusting! When might you use this? When you see a dead animal in the street, for a gory scene in a horror lm, when you nd a moldy tomato in the fridge... for all things yuk!

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Final Notes
More Real Phrases in our Newsletter
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Our Podcasts and Worksheets


All of the notesinspanish.com podcasts focus on providing you with real Spanish that you would never nd in a textbook or classroom. As well as a full transcript of our conversations, the worksheets that accompany each podcast contain explanations of the key words and phrases in the audio. Once again, this will help you to sound really Spanish, really fast! You can check out the audio and free sample worksheets here: Audio (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced): www.notesinspanish.com/spanish-audio Sample Worksheets for Each Level: www.notesinspanish.com/free-sample-worksheet

Getting Involved!
If you would like to tell us about your favourite Spanish words and phrases, or have any questions at all about the phrases used in this book, just head over to the forum at our sister site notesfromspain.com. Its a really friendly place where people are always around to help with any Spanish related questions you might have, no matter what your level. You can browse the forum, and hopefully join in the conversations, here: www.notesfromspain.com/forums

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Ackowledgements

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped out with this book over the past year by letting us know their favourite Spanish words and phrases, in particular the following friends, relatives, and Notes in Spanish listeners and forum users: Roberto, Elisa, Elena, Mnica, Yolanda, Valenciason, Docmolly, Jose Miguel, Delgado, Ron, Srising, Bobakin, Skizzoriky, Cate, Luke. Muchas gracias a todos!

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